15 July 2008

Piss off a pilgrim

Two student activists took the New South Wales Government to court today to challenge the special World Youth Day laws that allowed police to detain people or fine them $5,500 for “annoying or inconveniencing” Catholic pilgrims (first discussed in this post) – and won.

They argued that the laws, which were never discussed or debated in Parliament, were unconstitutional because they would make peaceful protest illegal.

The Full Bench of the Federal Court ruled the definition of "annoyance" was too broad and the scope of the laws was uncertain.

The students now intend to stage protests about abortion, homosexuality, contraception . . . you know the drill.

Frankly, while I admire their moxie, I don’t know how much they’ll achieve in the face of 150,000 relentlessly cheerful people who will not stop singing. Ever. They were singing clap-happy songs about Jesus on the train today – during peak hour. It was, I can assure you, extremely annoying.

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